Medco Agrees To Settlement

December 9, 2002 ( - Merck & Co. subsidiary Medco Health Solutions, Inc., a prescription benefit manager (PBM), has agreed to a settlement worth $42.5 million in ERISA-related class-action lawsuits, according to a company press release.

The cash compensation is in addition to modifications Medco will make to ensure clients fully understand their pharmacy healthcare services, which include:

  • Regular updates on changes to standard formularies
  • Providing notice when generic equivalents become available
  • Notification of new proposed therapeutic interchanges, involving interchanges of a lower-cost drug to a higher-cost drug

Agreed upon by five out of the six plaintiffs, the settlement would end all litigation surrounding claims to Medco’s position as a fiduciary under ERISA provisions; a position the plaintiffs all contend Medco acts in.   Medco does not believe it is a fiduciary under ERISA guidelines and terms of the settlement will not change that position.  

The settlement is still pending preliminary approval by the Southern District Court of New York.

If preliminary approval is granted, plaintiffs will receive instructions on how to participate in, or opt out of, the settlement.   A hearing would also take place for any objections to the proposed deal.   A final settlement is not expected for several months.